Small Works (Construction) Policy

Important Information: The Policies and Guidance on the website have been amended for accessibility reasons. Hard copies of the originals can be requested from or 01509 222181. When making decisions or attempting works based on these documents please consult the originals.

1. Introduction

All University construction work, which includes new-build, refurbishment and internal decoration, is normally arranged by Schools and Professional Services contacting either Facilities Development (for larger projects) or Facilities Services (for smaller works and refurbishments). Initial contact can be made via the FM Helpdesk Tel: 01509 222121.

There are very limited instances when Schools and Professional Services can commission and deliver their own construction small works. The objective of this policy is to clarify those limited instances, and also to highlight the additional legal responsibilities placed on Schools and Professional Services if they manage their own small works.

Only Facilities Services, as custodians of the Campus Estate, can arrange and undertake any work that involves alterations to the mechanical, electrical and building service installations due to the significant installation hazards, and future infrastructure maintenance liabilities.

If in any doubt, contact the Head of Maintenance and Engineering, Rob Sparks.

2. The Principles of Allowable Construction Small Works

In principle, Construction Small Works must not affect the infrastructure of any building, i.e. there are to be no alterations or work of any description to mechanical (i.e. water and gas), electrical, or building service (i.e. fire alarm) systems.

Some examples of approved Small Works are listed below. Some of these examples are likely to affect the fabric of the building, e.g. from drilling which could potentially disturb asbestos containing materials (ACM), or strike buried services such as electrics and gas. It will be the responsibility of the School or Professional Service to identify and manage all of these risks. Asbestos register.

A login name and password will be required when viewing the register for the first time. Please see overleaf for some examples of allowable Construction Small Works.

1. Floor coverings for small areas such as offices For advice, contact the specialist Furniture and Domestic Services. Schools are encouraged to place orders directly with the FADS team. (If the existing flooring is to be disturbed, then as there is a possibility that the existing floor covering may contain asbestos containing materials (ACMs), there is a risk that asbestos fibres could be released if disturbed. Before any flooring is disturbed, STOP and seek advice from FM.) Asbestos register link:
2. Free standing furniture items For advice, contact the Furniture and Domestic Service. Schools will be required to place orders directly with the contractor.
3. Internal signs (non-illuminated) that can be mounted without affecting the fabric of the building, and must follow corporate guidelines.
4. Blinds that do not affect the fabric of the building. For advice, contact the specialist Furniture and Domestic Services. Schools are encouraged to place orders directly with the FADS team as this is their area of expertise. If you are planning to drill into the fabric of the building, then STOP and seek advice from FM, as there is a risk of striking buried services (such as electricity and gas, disturbing asbestos, and also affecting the structural integrity of a building. Contact the FM Helpdesk and consult with the asbestos register.
5. Noticeboards / Whiteboards / Screens Installation of shelves / notice boards / blinds & curtains, that require fixings drilled into the walls: Full Risk Assessment must be completed to ensure services are not being affected, also check with Asbestos Register
6. Internal Decoration Painting of a wall in a School or Department controlled area with no fabric interference (e.g. the surface being painted is not damaged) or rubbing down of paint. Consult with the asbestos register 
7. Shelving that does not affect the fabric of the building.

3. The Construction, Design & Management (CDM) Regulations 2015

Schools and Professional Services must be aware of, and discharge, ALL of the Regulation responsibilities and duties if they undertake their own small construction work. The CDM Regulations places legal duties on a number of key stakeholders, especially the Client – each School and Professional Service will be the ‘client’ if they commission and manage their own construction small works.

CDM 2015 legally defines “Construction work” as the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure. In summary – any construction work!

The link below provide further information on the extensive duties involving CDM 2015:

• A summary of the duties of CDM 2015

4. How to Manage Your Own Small Works

There are a number of client duties that must be discharged to comply with CDM 2015. These duties are summarised below:

  • Approve the work project outlined and allocates the financial resource.
  • Appoint a nominated person(s) to be known as Small Works Competent Person. Ensure this person:
    • has attended the University Construction Small Works Training Course
    • Has the competence to undertake risk assessments
    • Ensure this person is qualified to NEBOSH Construction Certificate standard. This competency is required as the work, irrespective of its size, will involve discharging the strict requirements of CDM 2015 which includes, where necessary, the management of Contractors.
  • Carry out the required risk assessments, and ensure the Contractors undertake suitable and sufficient risk assessments. This may include checking the University asbestos register. (If there are any queries, please contact the FM Helpdesk.)
  • Small Works Competent Person includes fire risk assessment and contacts the University Fire Officer if there are any concerns or queries, especially if there is a change to the fire protection of the building.
  • Produce the pre-construction information, and issue to all tendering contractors.
  • Evaluate all tender returns, following the University procurement guidelines.
  • Formally appoint a Principal Contractor and Principal Designer (if more than one contractor is employed) – see link:
  • Review and approve the Principal Contractor’s risk assessment and method statements – these must be project specific
  • Ensure the Contractors receive a H&S Induction
  • Ensure the contractors sign in and out when entering and exiting the building
  • Consult and liaise with any neighbours to ensure members of the public are not adversely affected
  • Monitor the health and safety performance of the contractors throughout the contract, and take the necessary steps to address poor performance.
  • Liaise with FM to ensure that any necessary permits (i.e. hot work permits) are issued to manage the works
  • Accept work on behalf of the University on completion of the works
  • Ensure that the Health and Safety File is passed to Facilities Services at the end of the Project (if more than one contractor is employed)
  • Pass all as-built information to Engineering Services, so that the University asset records are updated.

A link to the procedures page used by Facilities Development and Engineering Services, to access some of the standard tools and templates to discharge the above requirements, is linked here (scroll down to ‘Annex G – Working with Contractors’ for the relevant guidance).

5. Choice of Suppliers

Facilities Services appoint regularly used contractors. For a latest version of recommended contractors to use, please contact the FM Helpdesk If Schools and Professional Services are considering appointing their own Contractors, they must ensure they are competent prior to work commencing.

All contractors appointed will be required to attend and commit to the standard Facilities Management Contractors HS&E induction prior to commencing any works on the University Campus. This is to ensure they understand and will comply with our work ethics and practices. There are 2 ways that this induction can be delivered:

  1. By attending the FM Contractors HS&E Induction, which is held daily in the FM Building at 8.45am. To register individuals for an induction, please contact the FM Helpdesk 
  2. By the School or Professional Service delivering the Induction themselves. A link to the PowerPoint presentation can be found by clicking below:

In addition to the FM Induction, a local specific H&S induction, delivered by the School, will also be required prior to commencing work, to highlight hazards to the Contractor.

School and Professional Service Budget Holders can make direct contract with their chosen supplier(s), arrange meetings and negotiate their own scope of works and order values where the Budget Holder is fully responsible for funding the works costs. The value of Works must not exceed £1000.00.